The Case for Developing an Environmental Quotient

Something’s been brewing in the back of my mind lately, and I thought I’d just put it out there. Kind of see what the feedback is, and perhaps manage to lodge a thought or two in a few other minds. The kind of thought that leads to positive action.

So, here we go.

If you know me and I notice you, in all likelihood a reasonably intelligent person, doing something that is harmful to the environmentally and avoidable, I will from this day onwards mention it. No matter how small. Depending on the situation and your IQ/EQ, and how well we know each other, I’ll even be nice about it.

Why? Because, as far as I am concerned, looking after the environment is non-negotiable. What you do to yourself, is a whole different story and none of my business. But when you are mucking about with nature and the environment, which we all share, I feel I have the right and responsibility to say something about it. You know, make a tiny little bleat. There are no excuses to be an environmental philistine anymore. Sure, we can’t all live off the grid and not all of us want to grow our own vegetables or even indulge in a solar braai light. But everyone has the capacity to think and do what is within their means and conscience.

Here are some simple examples, arguably within the means of most people I know.

If you discard of a perfectly reusable plastic shopping bag in your rubbish bin, I will take it out and ask you WTF is wrong with you.

If you stub out your cigarette in the street, but leave it there, I will ask you WTF is wrong with you I will get you to pick it up.

If you put your glass bottles/paper/tin cans, etc. in your bin and your neighbourhood has an active recycling programme, I will ask you if you have lost the capability of using Google to find the municipality’s number and ask them WTF is wrong with them.

If you have a garden and throw your coffee grinds in your bin, I will point out that they’re better off outside in the soil.

And so on. Not looking after the environment (or even considering it) is just laziness, like the folk left on Earth in WALL-E. Sure, we’re all lazy at times, but let’s be lazy on our own time and with ourselves then. I am working on my own list (e.g. not buying individually wrapped tea bags even if it’s my favourite tea and brand), just so that you don’t think I reckon I’m better than everyone else. I see the gaping holes and am working through them, one gap at a time. Let’s get some elevated Environmental Quotient out there!

Don’t be an eco-doos (or eco-douche, for those who prefer a more universally understood term). It’s much worse than being a regular one. And not sexy at all.


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